As the 2023 host of the world’s most important climate conference, COP28, the UAE has been caught in hot water, with allegations that the government is exploiting the meeting to pursue oil deals and its president declaring there is “no scientific” proof behind phasing-out fossil fuels.
COP28 President His Excellency Dr. Sultan Al Jaber during opening press conference of the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP28 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto)
From Nov. 30 to Dec. 12 world leaders, climate activists and finance and business leaders are meeting to discuss how to tackle the climate crisis.
Vanessa Nakate (C), a climate activist from Uganda, speaks at the German pavilion as German climate activist Luisa Neubauer (L) and Johan Rockstroem, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
COP28 hopes to ensure states meet the Paris Agreement, an international climate treaty signed in 2015, that aims to limit global temperature rise to 1.5˚C.
Activists demand a ceasefire in the Gaza conflict on day four of the UNFCCC COP28 Climate Conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
This year, countries are considering a plan to formally phase out fossil fuels – which means stopping the use of of coal, gas and oil – to limit global warming R
Participants stage a protest calling to phase out fossil fuels during the COP28, UN Climate Change Conference, held by UNFCCC in Dubai Exhibition Center, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Dominika Zarzycka/NurPhoto)
Sultan Al Jaber, the CEO of the UAE’s state oil company, Adnoc, has been named president of the climate conference.
Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, President of the UNFCCC COP28 Climate Conference, speaks at a presentation of the Industrial Transition Accelerator during day two of the high-level segment of the UNFCCC COP28 Climate Conference at Expo City Dubai. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Climate activists and environmental groups have
expressed concerns about Al Jaber’s appointment, questioning if he was capable of leading efforts to cut carbon emissions considering his deep ties with the oil industry.
Climate activists wearing black costumes known as Oil Slickers perform during the protest. Extinction Rebellion staged a demonstration in the City of London. (Photo by Vuk Valcic/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Before the conference began, the BBC reported that it had uncovered messages that showed the UAE was planning to use hosting COP28 to make oil deals with at least 15 other countries.
Documents suggested that Adnoc was ready to help countries including Germany, Colombia, and Egypt to pursue fossil fuel projects.
Adding to the controversy, on Sunday Dec. 3, the Guardian published a video from an online climate event in which Al Jaber stated that there was
“no science” that a plan to phase out fossil fuels will limit global warming.
John Kerry (L), U.S. special presidential envoy for climate, and Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, President of the COP28 UNFCCC Climate Conference, speak with one another at a session between the U.S., China, UAE and Nigeria on the global need to reduce methane emissions during day two of the high-level segment of the UNFCCC COP28 Climate Conference at Expo City Dubai. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
“There is no science out there, or no scenario out there, that says that the phase-out of fossil fuel is what’s going to achieve 1.5C,” Al Jaber said.
Activists protest against fossil fuels on the sidelines of the COP28 United Nations climate summit in Dubai. (Photo by Karim SAHIB / AFP)
Al Jaber said his statement was “taken out of context” during a press conference the next day.
COP28 president Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber speaks during a press conference at the United Nations climate summit in Dubai. (Photo by KARIM SAHIB / AFP) More On Climate Change
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